This weekend a new mural was being painted on 3401 Water St. It features John F. Kennedy giving one of his more famous speeches, namely the “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech he gave in response to the construction of the Berlin Wall.
The choice of subject is clear when you remember that the building now hosts a German beer hall called the Berliner. (It’s in the space formerly occupied by Malmaison).
Also, you may remember that the way JFK phrased this statement meant he was saying “I am a jelly doughnut” instead of his intended “I am a Berliner” meaning. If you do, well, you were lied to. It’s an urban legend that the crowds in Germany would interpret “ein Berliner” to mean the pastry and not a citizen of Berlin. Apparently it’s only outside of Berlin that the particular treat is even called a Berliner. In Berlin it’s just called a pancake. It would be like hearing somebody say “I am a New Yorker” and concluding that the speaker was saying he or she was a weekly news magazine. The context would prevent that conclusion amongst most people.
Anyhow, it’s a lovely tribute to Kennedy. And it’s particularly apt given his strong connections to Georgetown. GM looks forward to seeing the completed work.